Don’t know what’s going on? Go here and figure out where you got lost, then make your way back.
Teleporter Chief Dour had actually gone to the Lone Star cotillion. However, Minion Werl in Teleporter room Two reported that Dour had just asked for transport back when the captain paged him. Donna Bel and Ellie Sue excused themselves to go to the chapel so they could pray. Jeb watched as Ellie Sue started to pray even as they walked down the corridors. Donna Bel yanked her daughter-in-law’s hands off a passing crewman’s behind. “Stop that nonsense! We’re good Evangelicals, and don’t you forget it.”
He shook his head, but in his heart, he knew Donna Bel was right; Ellie Sue was not really a believer. She would never progress beyond “culturally Kreptarian.” He lengthened his stride to catch up to the others and they entered the teleporter room just as the sparkling of the teleportation process was reaching its crescendo.
When it subsided, Dour stood on the teleporter, but not alone. He had his arms around two beautiful women in fancy gowns who in turn clung to him amorously. They gazed at him in wonder.
“And now,” he told the buxom brunette who was stroking his lank hair. “You have experienced the nanosecond of death. You are no longer the same woman.” To the slight blonde whose right hand was tucked under the lapel of his jacket, he said, “The very threads of your being have been torn asunder, caressed in their ravaged state by the cosmic totality, and refashioned into something…other.”
“That is so intense,” she breathed and leaned in closer.
Captain Tiberius cleared his throat loudly.
At the sight of Bobby Seip, their own captain, the girls jumped to attention, their faces pink with embarrassment. Dour released the ladies, but he seemed more disappointed than embarrassed.
Jeb smiled with good humor, “At ease, everyone. Ladies, our apologies, but we need my teleporter chief for a spell.”
Dour sighed, “What peril are we in that we need the labors of my mistress to survive?”
The ladies, who had brightened at the thought of their date being such a needed hero, darkened at the words, “My mistress.” One actually curled her lip in a snarl.
Dour ran a finger along her jawline. “The teleporter is my mistress: as generous in her rewards as she is exacting in her demands.”
“Yeah, yeah, he’s weirdly dedicated to his work,” Enigo said. “But we’ve got about 45 minutes to figure out how to rip apart J.R.’s DNA and put him back together as something ‘other’ or whateverthehell you said, or I gotta go kill him before he’s too powerful to stop.”
Bobby added. “He was affected by the planet. He’s developing superhuman powers – and superhuman arrogance to go with it. He’s in a medically-induced coma, but he’s fighting his way out of that. He almost destroyed both our ships. This is the only option.”
Enigo shrugged, “But what we’d rather do is use the teleporter to reset his DNA. And I know as part of your weird teleporter ceremony that you that you probably have his teleporter record as well a gene sample.”
“That is twice you have used ‘weird’ in reference to my vocation,” Dour said.
“But is it true?” the blonde asked, again stepping closer.
He, however, pinned his glare upon the group in front of him. “Captain, we are speaking of forbidden arts. Doctor, you are HuFleet trained; have you not told them?”
Dr. Pasteur threw up his hands in a shrug. “Oh, I explained it all – thread theory, the low chances of successfully getting their old J.R. back, all the side effects from dementia to blocked bowels, even halitosis. I told them it was impossible.”
“It is not impossible, but my mistress may exact a terrible price.”
“So, you can do it?” the brunette asked, setting her hand on Dour’s arm.
“I have the materials. I have been initiated into the iniquitous mysteries. What you ask is both great and dreadful.” He seemed to shiver, but it was hard to tell if from fear, excitement or simple theatrics. Regardless, the ladies responded by again moving in close and fawning on him.
“This is really so intense,” the blonde breathed into his ear.
“J.R. is a great leader of our people,” the brunette replied. “If you can save him…”
“He will not be the same.”
“Are any of us? I mean, you said I have been made…other.”
Dour turned his stern gaze to his captain. “There will be consequences, you understand? We will be forcing my mistress to acts unnatural to her design.”
Jeb, who by years of leadership experience, was able to hide his mirth and keep a placid, commanding expression, nodded. “I understand, but it is a defining quality of this crew that we push ourselves and our equipment beyond what was previously thought possible. This is one of those occasions – provided, of course, you can make the proper calculations?”
“Can I make the proper calculations?” He rolled his eyes in disdain. Then, with a sudden movement, he held up his palms and shrugged out of the girls’ grasps. “Enough! I must begin the preparations. Minion Werl, send a janbot to clean Teleporter Room Four. It must be pristine. I assume we have his complete genetic mapping prior to the inciting incident? I will require it sent to my computer. Doctor, prepare your patient: purge his body of toxins and unnecessary impurities.”
“Antibiotics and enemas. I know the drill.”
“And brush his teeth. I shall retire to my room to complete the ‘proper calculations,’” – he all but sneered the phrase – “and retrieve the materials. We shall reconvene in twenty-five minute. And, I will need the candles.”
“Can we help?” the girls asked anxiously.
His gaze moved over them each, as if judging their worthiness. “You may help me with my robes.”
Yeah, Dour looks different. I thought I knew where I’d gotten the image I’d been using, but I can’t find it and I can’t find the model, so just run with it. This is Dolfrick now.